Here are just a few of the faces that I saw when I reached the Guardería. I was overwhelmed by the children and their circumstances but refreshed that they had this wonderful and safe place to come to. The children were singing, dancing, eating and chatting, much like any daycare program. Some were happy, some were sad (one little boy was still new to the program and he wanted his momma!) but they all loved every bit of attention you could give. I made friends who I couldn't communicate with, but our smiles and hugs spoke volumes. I watched them play on the playground and let them play with my camera. They thought it was very cool to take pictures of themselves.
For those of you who are not familiar with Safe Passage or why I went to Guatemala, please check it out. Directly from their website:
"Safe Passage works with the poorest at-risk children of families working in the Guatemala City garbage dump. Within a safe and caring environment, we provide a comprehensive and integrated program that fosters hope, good health, educational achievement, self-sufficiency, self esteem and confidence."
Ever since hearing about Safe Passage, because of founder Hanley Denning's death in January 2007, I have wanted to go and be a part of it.
On the first day, I went back to the hotel exhausted. Not so much physically tired, but mentally and emotionally. The idea of the children and families circumstances overwhelmed me and made me realize how very blessed I am. I knew the situation I was entering, but I felt differently once I got there. I have such a heart for children, but this project is bigger than me. I felt sad that I wasn't more excited and enthusiastic about coming here and serving. I was disappointed and overwhelmed. I had many questions throughout the day that were answered with "once you get the tour, you'll understand".